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September 05, 2009


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Furloughs for faculty members are just pay decreases, not work decreases; that's all. The name is misleading. Once we realize that, they may be easier to accept.

But, hey, the academy's been dealing with pay decreases for a really, really long time. One of my favorite antebellum cases involves the University of Alabama's attempt to reduce the salary of its tutors (from $1000 to $800 per year). The Alabama Supreme Court didn't allow it. Just goes to show that you never know when studying property jurisprudence and colleges in the old South comes in handy.

Through the magic of, you can read the case, University of Alabama v. Walden (Ala. 1849):"university+of+alabama"+date:1830-1855&ei=BYOiSvXLPIvgyQSxo9mLCA#v=onepage&q=%22university%20of%20alabama%22%20date%3A1830-1855&f=false


What a crock. Most of the sanctimonious professors only teach one or two courses a semester. What are they complaining about when they only teach about 6 hours a week.


My two UC professor friends make pretty good money, especially considering the work load. No one likes a pay cut, but compared to bringing in replacements, I think they're making a mistake if they strike or walkout. I mean, from a technology standpoint, someday, someone is going to figure out that we maybe need 8 to 10 professors in each field in the entire country. Record their lectures on the web, and hire a bunch of TAs. Then where will they be? I'm simplifying a bit I know, but as far as I am concerned, there is an education bubble.

Paul A'Barge

Neither police nor fire nor EMS are allowed to strike. Neither should you professors be able to strike. There are those of us out here who are ready to rumble in the struggle to end tenure. You're helping our cause. And many of us are out of work.

So, either take your cut in pay like men, like the rest of us are taking ours. Or better, quit.


Since most tenured professor-taught classes are conducted by graduate assistants, what's the problem? The classes will continue as usual, and no one will notice the professors are missing.

christ is there a cushier job than being a tenured professor? upon refection being a judge in cook county, il. may edge it out.


Cry me a river. Adjunct professors like myself are lucky to make $4000 flat rate per course (that's $4000 for teaching a 4 1/2 month long course), with absolutely no benefits. We don't get the benefit of TAs to grade for us. We teach, grade, hold office hours, publish, and advise students.

On the other hand, tenured professors make obscene salaries, have cushy benefit packages, and often teach only one or two semesters/quarters per academic year.

I say let em strike. Hopefully universities will realize how unnecessary they are and also realize how valuable adjuncts, instructors, and TAs are.


Some clarifications:

"OBSCENE SALARY": As a tenure-track Assistant Professor, I make $20,000 less per year than a friend who teaches high-school history at a public school in the Bay Area. Corrected for inflation, after earning a Ph.D. from a top university and gaining 8 years of college teaching experience, I make slightly more now than I did 16 years ago as a recent college graduate working in public relations.

LOW TEACHING LOAD: They're called "research universities" for a reason, folks: unlike junior colleges, private liberal arts colleges, the Cal State system, etc., teaching represents just a portion of what our job responsibilities are. Research universities (and the faculty who work there) don't just transmit pre-existing knowledge, they PRODUCE new knowledge. Adjuncts, instructors, and TAs are ABSOLUTELY valuable, and their exploitation b corporatizing university systems is outrageous, but bears on the specific function of this walkout only obliquely.

In any case, READ THE LETTER that calls for the walkout. The very first demand is to stop paycuts and furloughs for UC employees making less than $40,000 per year: WHICH MEANS NOT PROFESSORS AT ALL. We're walking out on BEHALF of students and low-paid workers, NOT IN SPITE OF THEM.


This is interesting. This moment of crisis would be particularly useful if it would lead tenured professors to have my empathy for adjuncts -- by, maybe, supporting their strikes, raising their pay and, yes, bringing them into the tenure track rather than using them as disposable teaching labor. However, if the UC folks must be cranky about it (and don't want to attack one another, by arguing for the elimination of other UC campuses or other departments!), I have an idea. Why not take furlough days whenever committees meet? No one likes committee work. It's boring, and it takes away from teaching and research. So -- take furloughs on committee days, with the result that no one screens job candidates, no hiring takes place, no new courses are approved, no funky new programs are created, no reaccreditation reports are generated. Now *that* would send a big message, over time and across departments, to the Powers That Be! Sorry, President Udoff, but we simply can't read dossiers and applications, and ooops, we couldn't finish that self-study, so we're going to drop our ABA/AMA accreditation. UCers, unite! You have nothing to lose but your committee work, and a world to gain!

Bill R

Want to have fun? Look up any one of the promoters of the walkout and take a look at their research. Thank goodness, while they walk out, none of this twaddle will be inflicted on their poor long-suffering students.

Here's the poetry of Joshua Clover at UC Davis
"...the remix the new glitch has been recalled melancholy of luscious Pictober the fall of the phenomenon into the iris back with another one of those Return of the Flâneur as hardcore Autumnophage echolocation..."

Or the very important research of Nathan Brown, another fraud in the UC Davis English department.

"His current book project examines concepts of form and practices of fabrication in nanoscale materials science and contemporary experimental poetry".


We also have Donna Haraway, a 'Professor of Consciousness' st Santa Cruz.

"This chapter is an effort to build an ironic political myth faithful to feminism, socialism, and materialism. Perhaps more faithful as blasphemy is faithful, than as reverent worship and identification...."

Haraway's book cover is priceless. Enjoy it at ''

And it's all like that. The once great University of California needs a thorough cleaning out.


Let me get this straight, STP - you want to screw over the students who have contracted with the university for an education, just to prove your magnanimity for "the little people"? GMAFB - and get to work.


You know, you guys must be the most coddled workers in all of America. I live in the "professor ghetto" of SUNY Stony Brook. I have regularly viewed tenured profs in their bathrobes reading the NYT at 9 in the morning while my husband in the private sector launched off for work at 6:45...
One of my best girlfriends, formerly, is married to a tenured prof in economics. I have actually heard him stress over getting pizza delivery to his TA's while they graded the final exams for his classes! (BTW, he did this stressing from the comfort of his own home.) The icing on the cake was his long winded stress out about getting his new computer before he went for a month to his summer lodge in Canada!
You don't want to take a pay cut when your state is broke? You want to "make a statement?" You are an arrogant prick. You are a government employee. Your gov't is broke. Go get a job in the private sector if you think your expertise is so invaluable. See how that suites you. Two weeks vacation and ten holidays baby...

Kim Krawiec

"Why not take furlough days whenever committees meet? No one likes committee work. It's boring, and it takes away from teaching and research."

Vladimir for dean! Or provost or president. My own view of meetings:

Dan K

Hmmm...sounds like things aren't going so well on our Utopian Californian campuses.

Personally, I think all teachers should be paid the same amount, regardless of seniority, ability or load.

Seems only fair.

Never mind that the state is broke.

Education, like health care, is a right and should be "free" for all.

The campuses are Utopia, remember?

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